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Does the child support grant encourage teenage pregnancy?

A 2006 analysis of teenage fertility trends found that there were “no grounds to believe that young South African girls are deliberately having children in order to access welfare benefits”.

According to the research, teenage childbearing had not increased after the grant was introduced in 1998. In addition, less than 3% of teenagers were direct beneficiaries of the grant at a time when 15% of all births were to teenage mothers.

A participant in a 2018 study, conducted in KwaZulu-Natal, said it would not make sense to get pregnant to access the grant, because it wasn’t enough to care for a child.

According to the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Household’s 2019 Affordability Index, the child support grant (R420 per month at the time) was not enough to meet the monthly cost of a basic nutritious diet for a child of 3 to 13 years in September 2019.

Related: The myth of teenage pregnancy and child support grants

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